Elizabeth's question for me: In your opinion, what is the hardest part of the writing process?
My answer: Disassociation from what is happening around you.
It's far too easy to compare yourself to other authors and what they are doing, and how far they seem to have gotten in their career when you feel like you haven't moved an inch. As a self-published author, especially, you can't avoid noticing these things, because you have to be online and looking at newsfeeds and keeping up to date with what is happening where and with whom as part of your marketing research. The tricky part is not taking it seriously; disentangling yourself from it. It's easy to start to feel down about it all, particularly if you're a competitive and ambitious person; particularly if you have bills to pay, and you feel time slipping from your grasp...
Disassociate. Let it go, and be true to yourself.
Like any industry, publishing is a game. If you actually want to "win" you have to play the game and stick to the rules. Here's a tip: change the meaning of "win" to align with your heart's needs, and then make your own rules. Now you have a game worth winning.